Top 10 healthcare finance stories of 2017

CMS' cancellation of major bundled payment initiatives and hospital closures and bankruptcy filings were among the healthcare finance topics that piqued the interest of readers this past year.

Below are the 10 most popular finance stories published by Becker's Hospital Review in 2017.

1. CMS will cancel major bundled payment initiatives
In August, CMS proposed canceling the cardiac and expanded joint replacement bundled payment models. CMS issued a final rule in November to officially cancel the hip fracture and cardiac bundled payment programs and rollback some mandatory requirements in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model.

2. Dallas hospital unexpectedly closes
Walnut Hill Medical Center, a 100-bed for-profit hospital in Dallas, abruptly closed June 4 and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just four days later.

3. Health system CEO pulls out $6M check to pay debts during budget hearing
Daniel Snyder, CEO of Shreveport, La.-based University Health System, stunned senators in May when he brought a check for $6.2 million to a budget hearing to pay debts owed to Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University.

4. Cleveland Clinic's operating income plummets 71%
Cleveland Clinic saw revenues increase in 2016, but higher labor, supplies and pharmaceutical costs dragged down the 14-hospital system's operating income.

5. CHS to sell 25 hospitals as net loss swells to $1.7B in 2016
To improve its finances and trim its debt load, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems put a turnaround plan into place in 2016 that included selling off 17 hospitals. After ending 2016 with a net loss of $1.7 billion, the company said it would sell 25 hospitals, and it later extended the divesture plan to 30 hospitals. In November, the company said it had sold the 30 hospitals and planned to unload additional facilities worth $2 billion in revenue.

6. Los Angeles hospital closes, lays off all 638 employees
Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Los Angeles, which provided care for more than 150 years, closed Nov. 30.

7. California hospital suspends all services, notifies 524 employees of possible layoffs
Tulare (Calif.) Regional Medical Center filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in late September, and one month later the hospital's management company closed the facility.

8. Mayo Clinic to give preference to privately insured over Medicaid, Medicare patients
Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, MD, told employees in a speech earlier this year that the Rochester, Minn.-based system will "prioritize" patients with private insurance over Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries if the patients have similar conditions and seek care at the same time. Dr. Noseworthy said Mayo will continue to take all patients, regardless of payer source, and the policy will not apply to patients seeking emergency care.

9. Operator of 179 cancer treatment centers files for bankruptcy
Fort Myers, Fla.-based 21st Century Oncology Holdings, a cancer care services provider, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.

10. Trump's $4.1 trillion budget: 9 healthcare takeaways
President Donald Trump released his first full budget plan in May, which included key proposals related to healthcare.

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